Todd Bankofier recently shared his story at the Men’s Mass & Breakfast. Listen to his compelling testimony as he breaks open 2 of the Beatitudes.
The teachings of Jesus can confuse us as we try to make sense of what he asks and how it fits into our way of thinking. It takes time to reflect on what he is asking. This week’s Gospel, and the Beatitudes (our theme for the year) really turn our world upside down, but does not Jesus do that already?
Fr. Eric breaks this open during his homily this weekend and invites Adam Stein, our Coordinator of Communications, to share more about our theme and a very special event that is happening next week.
Here is the video that was shown at all the Masses this weekend:
Click here for a flyer on the Beatitudes project events that is happening next week and mark your calendars for these important dates:
Saturday – Tuesday, October 20 – 23
October 20 & 21:
Stu G will be speaking at all Masses
Monday, October 22:
a night of stories & song
6:30 pm in the Church
Tuesday, October 23:
“A View from the Hill” – Film & Q&A
9:30 am in the Daily Mass Chapel
6:30 pm in Fenlon Hospitality Center
Finally, you can click here to download the Beatitudes card & calendar of events here at St. Patrick that takes us through the rest of this year. Thank you! Together we are Christian Disciples in Mission who are Living Beyond Sunday through the Beatitudes!
Father, husband, son and die hard Sawx fan Paul Schnabel was the guest speaker at St. Patrick Men’s Prayer Breakfast recently.
Joel Stepanek, Director of Resource Development for LIFE TEEN, speaker, and author, joined the men gathered at St. Patrick Catholic Community’s Men’s Mass & Breakfast on March 10, 2018. He shares some practical insights on living a life of faith using Ignatian spirituality.
Today’s Gospel marks the beginning of the third long discourse given by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. Over the next few weeks, the Gospel readings will consist of the entire 13th Chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, a lengthy teaching discourse.
Throughout this discourse, Jesus will offer several parables to illustrate for his listeners what he means by the kingdom of heaven. He begins with the parable of the sower, which appears rather straightforward—of course seeds grow best in good soil. Seeds that miss the soil, are sown on rocky ground, or are sown among other plants will not grow. The surprise in the parable is the enormous yield of the seed that is sown on good soil.
Jesus then explains his use of parables. Jesus seems to suggest that he uses parables to teach because the meanings of parables are not self-evident. The hearer must engage in some degree of reflection in order to comprehend the message of a parable. In this way, the medium—the parable—models the point of the parable of the sower. Those who are willing to engage themselves in the effort to understand will be rewarded by the discovery of the message and will bear fruit.
To bring home the point, Jesus interprets the parable of the sower to his disciples. The different types of soil in which the seeds are sown are metaphors for the disposition with which each individual hears the teaching about the kingdom of heaven. Some will be easily swayed away from the kingdom of heaven. Some will receive it for a time but will lose it when faced with difficulties. Some will hear the word but will then permit other cares to choke it out. Yet some will receive it well, and the seed will produce abundant fruit.
Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel comes after a discourse in which Jesus reproaches people who have witnessed his mighty deeds yet still lack belief. In this context, today’s Gospel explains the reason for this unbelief and reveals what is necessary for faith. Today’s Gospel also continues to enhance our understanding of discipleship as last week’s Gospel did.
Jesus first prays in thanksgiving to God who has made himself known to Jesus’ disciples. He praises God who has made himself known to the “little ones” and not to the wise and learned. As in other recent readings from Matthew’s Gospel, a contrast is made here between the unbelieving Pharisees, who are wise and learned, and the faithful disciples, tax collectors, and sinners with whom Jesus keeps company.
The second part of this reading calls to our attention the unity between the Father and the Son. God has made himself known through Jesus, and in knowing Jesus, we come to know the Father. In Jesus’ life and in his person, God reveals himself to us.
In the concluding sentences of today’s Gospel, Jesus’ teaching is again contrasted to the teaching of the Pharisees. This common theme of Matthew’s Gospel probably reflects tension that existed between Jesus and the Pharisees and between the Pharisees and the community of Christians for whom Matthew wrote. Pharisaic Judaism became the predominant form of Judaism after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem about 70 A.D. Here that tension is expressed as alternative paths of holiness. The careful observance of the Mosaic law taught by the Pharisees could be experienced by some as difficult and burdensome. In contrast, Jesus’ way of holiness is presented as uncomplicated and even restful.
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Today’s Gospel is the conclusion of the instructions and consolations that we have heard Jesus offering to his disciples during the past few weeks. In this passage, Jesus summarizes both the costs of discipleship and its rewards. Once again our understanding of the Gospel is strengthened by considering the context in which it was written and the perspective of Matthew’s audience.
The conditions of discipleship outlined in Matthew’s Gospel may appear harsh. Yet they underline for us a truth—choosing anything with one’s whole heart has consequences. Choosing life with Christ means that every relationship we have must be understood from a new perspective. For many in Matthew’s community, this choice brought division to their family.
Matthew also outlines the reward of hospitality offered to Jesus’ followers. In today’s Gospel, Jesus explains the difficulties of discipleship, yet reveals that those who welcome the disciples have also welcomed him.
Today’s Gospel also highlights for us the importance of hospitality in the Christian life. To welcome another in Jesus’ name is to extend hospitality to Jesus himself. We have many opportunities in our daily life to reach out to others, to be a welcoming presence and a sign of God’s love.
We want to thank Fr. Ray Carey for spending time with all of us at St. Patrick. He gave the homily at all of our Masses and also gave two incredible workshops on Monday & Tuesday evening. If you missed any of his visit, or you want to listen again, you can, right here in this post. We have included audio players for each of his talks as well as links and references for further study. — Fr. Eric has recorded a special introductory message to these talks as well.
The Mystery of God’s Plan “In Christ” (Monday, January 23, 2017)
Helps for Understanding and Addressing Internet Addiction Disorder (Tuesday, January 24, 2017)
Homily (Sunday, January 22, 2017)
Additional resources & references:
References for the January 24, 2017, presentation “Helps for Understanding Internet Addiction Disorder” by Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D.
Betkowski, B. (2007, March 2). “Study Finds Teen Boys Most Likely to Access Pornography.” University of Alberta: www.ualberta.ca/~publicas/folio/44/13/09.html.
Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, W.W. Norton & Co., 2010, www.TheShallowsBook.com.
Dunckley, Victoria, Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades and Boost Social Skills By Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time, New World Library, 2015. http://DrDunckley.com
“National Sleep Foundation 2014 Sleep in America Poll Finds Children Sleep Better When Parents Establish Rules, Limit Technology, and Set a Good Example.” (2014, March 3). http://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-2014-sleep-america-poll-finds-children-sleep.
Wilson, Gary, Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction, Commonwealth Publishing, 2014.
Zimbardo, Phillip and Nikita Coulombe. Man, Interrupted. Conari Press, 2016.
Christians in many parts of the world have faced persecution for centuries. Today it still exists and Christians face hardships that even cost their lives. In our country we have the freedom to worship at church or not and there really is not much risk for most Christians. Yet there can be an awareness that our brothers and sister in Christ need our support and prayers. Parishioner John Baker gives his time to speaking on behalf of Voice of the Martyrs. Please listen to this podcast that can share with you an awareness of the persecution of Christians and how we can support them wherever they may be.
For more information on The Voice of the Martyrs please visit their website at http://www.persecution.com/ or Contact John Baker at jbakervom(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)outlook.com
St. Patrick was honored to host the Crosier religious order of priests and brothers. One of their gifts are ministering to the sick and offering healing. Their patroness St. Odilia has an interesting story shared by Fr. Stephan Bauer at the homily during mass. Hundreds of people stayed after mass to touch the relics of St. Odilia and receiving the anointing of the sick.